Nature Conservation: Sometimes it’s Best to do Nothing

Soapbox | Written By, NOW! BALI | September 28th, 2013

For those of you in Bali during the APEC conference, part of Bali will disappear as security tightens its noose around Nusa Dua, to protect the world leaders gathered there!While there will be disruption for many – including a total closure of the airport I believe – hopefully the benefits will outweigh the challenges, as the world’s attention will focus on our beloved island.

For those of you in Bali during the APEC conference, part of Bali will disappear as security tightens its noose around Nusa Dua, to protect the world leaders gathered there!

While there will be disruption for many – including a total closure of the airport I believe – hopefully the benefits will outweigh the challenges, as the world’s attention will focus on our beloved island.

The world will see an island beautifully pampered and painted for inspection, with new tunnels and toll roads to show off, a brand new airport and well repaired sidewalks. So from all residents and visitors – a big thank you to all delegates for coming so that these much needed upgrades get done!

But behind the scenes much more needs to be done, not to “develop” Bali as everyone seems to want to do, but to protect and preserve it.

There is an admirable organisation I used to assist, but who left an indelible mark on me, called The Nature Conservancy. Its mission in life is to conserve and does so often by doing – nothing!

A typical program might be to buy an endangered forest at the edge of a spreading conurbation and refuse to allow a single brick to be laid or tree to be felled.

It buys land, forest, mountains, wetlands, deserts, rivers and swamps and protects them from encroachment. It collects money from like-minded donors, often wealthy individuals (and perhaps conscience-ridden corporations) and puts their money into fighting against “development” which so often is simple money-making by rapacious real estate contractors, and even more often, poorly conceived, lazy planning by governments, possibly heavily “incentivized” by the developers.

When I hear for example that the beautiful beaches in South Lombok “have to be developed,” I say “why?”  They are worth much  more to the world pristine.

“Developed” they become just another beach resort owned by uncaring corporations, lost forever under a tidal wave of concrete. The world already has Bondi and Copacabana. Why do that here?

So APEC leaders, while you are here, spare a thought for the parts of the world you want to help by “developing” and “industrialising”. They may just want to be left alone! 

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NOW! BALI

DKPH
Golden Tulip

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